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Colombia's FARC rebels 'willing to negotiate with government'

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-01-10

Timoleon Jimenez, the new leader of Columbia's Marxist FARC rebels, issued an internet statement saying the group would be willing to negotiate with President Juan Manuel Santos to discuss such issues as democracy and the economy.

AFP - Colombia's Marxist FARC guerrillas said they were willing to negotiate with President Juan Manuel Santos, in a statement signed by the group's new leader, named just two months ago.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia said there are "issues we are interested in dealing with at a hypothetical negotiating table," in a statement from FARC chief Timoleon 'Timochenko' Jimenez posted on a rebel website.

"Before the nation, (we hope) to address privatizations, deregulation, the absolute freedom of trade and investment, environmental degradation, democracy in a market economy, and military policy," Jimenez said.

The FARC is Colombia's oldest and largest guerrilla force, believed to have 8,000 members, and has been at war with the government since its launch in 1964.

The group's last leader, Alfonso Cano, was killed in an army raid in early November.

The FARC has suffered serious losses since 2008, when its number two Raul Reyes died during a Colombian army raid in Ecuadoran territory, and its historic leader, Manuel "Sure Shot" Marulanda Velez, died after a brief illness.

Date created : 2012-01-10

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